Not Just For Babies: The Benefits of Babywearing for Caregivers

teal and turquoise woven warp worn in a front carry

We often talk about the benefits of babywearing for babies and children, how being carried helps us to meet both their physical and emotional needs. But what about the caregiver doing the carrying? Does babywearing have any benefits for them too? We certainly think so! Here is our list of the top 5 ways that babywearing can benefit you as a caregiver, based on both our own personal experiences and those of our many customers.

1. Social Support

There is an active online babywearing community, and there may be local sling meets in your area too. Many people make lovely new friends through the babywearing groups, and their support extends past practical help with slings. Tamsin and Jen became friends through the babywearing community, well over a decade ago! 
Alongside making new friends, slings can help you to keep in touch with old ones. It is easier to go for a walk or meet for a coffee if your baby is snuggled up tight in your wrap. Leaving the house with a new baby can feel daunting and complicated at times, but a wrap takes away some of those hurdles. There’s no worrying about how to get the pram into the cafe or how you’ll negotiate nap time when you’re sat in your Grandma’s kitchen because the baby can feed, sleep and be transported in your sling- you’ve got it covered!

 

“Wrapping has meant so much to me over the last two years. It’s been something for ‘me’ in the midst of being ‘Mum’, a new skill to learn and beautiful fabric to wear. It’s been a great practical tool for juggling child number 3.It’s been cuddles with my youngest and great fun with my eldest.But it’s also been community and new friends too.”
Jess

2. Freedom

We’ve already mentioned how a baby can up-end your routines and make even simple task more tricky. Wraps hold your baby to give you your arms back! They make your baby easy to carry, giving you the freedom to go places that you can’t manage with a pram. Babies are often settled and comforted by being carried, and that gives you the freedom to think and concentrate on something else for a little while. Breastfeeding in the wrap allowed Jen to walk her toddler to playgroup at the time when her baby needed feeding. It wasn’t completely hands-free and certainly not graceful, but it gave her the freedom to get somewhere on time and meet two sets of competing needs. Napping in the sling means that your baby’s sleep schedule doesn’t tie you down. You can be anywhere you like and still manage naptime with ease.

dancing mum with baby in lilac grey woven wrap

“Woven wraps helped make my world bigger and more accessible. Nearly 18 months ago we were in lockdown and my family and I were living in a new place with a new baby. My husband started a new job with crazily long hours. Wrapping allowed me to get out with my baby to walk our dogs every day. Being able to explore the area around the village was a huge boost mentally. I’m not sure that I would have coped otherwise. I started to recognise faces on my daily walks. With a wrap and a babywearing coat I could go out in all weathers. Carrying a baby is also a great conversation starter. I bump into ramblers and holiday makers all the time and I’m often asked about it, and people joke that they wish they could be carried up the hills! “
Jenny

3. Confidence

Trying to go places or get things done is often more complicated when you add small children into the mix! There are lots more variables at play and situations that crop up unexpectedly. As caregivers we have to find ways to meet our little ones’ needs whilst simultaneously getting on with everything else in life. Babywearing can be a valuable tool in our parenting toolbox, making loads of situations more manageable. 
Having a wrap on hand gave us the confidence to go out and get on with life, knowing that if our toddler got tired or we had to keep the baby happy happy and quiet through a meeting, we had a surefire solution at the ready! 

teal and turquoise woven wrap with a white moon design worn in a front carry

“Woven wraps for me have been what saved my first postpartum. I struggled with a preterm birth, I struggled with a birth that didn’t go as I wanted, I struggled with the failure of not being able to breastfeed. When I started wrapping, on the one hand, of course, I have all the benefits of babywearing in general for me and my baby. But wrapping in particular gave me something extra. Gave me a skill to master, something that I was in control of. I would be determined to learn one carry, one type of technique, and practice and concentrate on that until I felt I had mastered it. It was something of my own as well as of my baby’s. In the middle of finding who I was after becoming a mom, wrapping gave me a bit of who I used to be (an aerial silks acrobat), but with a twist. It’s sometimes hard to put it into words, but I honestly feel that woven wraps have been a key ingredient in my transformation, and in overcoming the somewhat difficult start we had. They were my safe and secure place, and as I grew more and more confident with wrapping, I did too with other aspects of parenting.”
Belen 

4. Sense of Identity

Jen remembers how nothing felt familiar after her first baby was born- as if she saw everything through new eyes. She had to do everything in her world for the first time and relearn even the simplest of things. She vividly remembers the first time she walked down to the butcher’s shop with her newborn and how overwhelmingly strange that mundane little task now felt!
Looking after the needs of small children can be such an all consuming task that it can be hard to find a space for our own identity at first, and all the certainties of who we are as an individual can fly out of the window. 
Wrapping is such an exciting form of babywearing because it is a new (easily accessible) skill for you to learn, often at a point in your life where you may struggle to think much beyond your new baby. There are different carries to try, fancy ways to tie them. Wrapping can be lots of run and offer as much challenge as you want to take on. Want to learn every carry you can find on you-tube? Brilliant, go for it! Want to get your technique perfect for the only carry you know? Enjoy the process and the sense of achievement when you get it so comfy! Feel proud when people watch in amazement as you wrap your baby in the supermarket carpark! Wrapping can become a means of expression. At a time where your pre-baby clothes might not fit, or you struggle to find time to brush your hair, a wrap can feel beautiful and empowering. It can be a way to make choices, to rediscover who you are and communicate your identity to others. Your favourite colours and designs, wrapped around you like a living artwork…

bifrost geode

“Woven wraps have been a source of beauty, comfort and a way of using my brain in the first year and a half of being a mum. When I was missing the mental challenge of my old job, it gave me a new skill to focus on learning, and when my daughter or I needed cuddles and closeness, it provided an amazing way of doing that. We have gone through some long wrap strikes but every cuddle or walk with her in the wrap is precious and I love that she now enjoys carrying her toys just like I carry her.”
Eleanor

“Woven Wraps allow me to continue to have an identity of my own. The fabrics, colours and patterns I choose are a reflection of my personality. “
Ana

5. Comforting

Children can feel safe in the wrap, and the caregiver can too! Holding your baby close can help regulate powerful floods of hormones and help you feel secure and reassured. The wrap is a surety even on the days when you don’t know what is going to happen next. Wrapping supports the bonding process between you and your child and provides support for you both.

“Both of my babies are adopted, which means I didn’t get the privilege of carrying them for 9 months. Woven wraps help give us some of that closeness we missed out on. With adoption, sometimes bonding can be a bit harder. That hasn’t been the case for me, and I definitely attribute some of that to the ability to wear my babies so close. It means the world to me.”
Sarah

Woven wraps to me have meant I’m not afraid to take two kids out on my own. We can walk that little bit further, knowing I can throw one (or the other, or both) up in the wrap when they fall or get too tired. We can climb rocky hills and squeeze into tight spaces. We can get places that little bit quicker when someone has just woken up or little legs can’t keep up, and best of all I get a beautiful scarf to keep me warm when I’m not carrying and don’t have to worry about whether I need to take a bulky alternative “just in case”.
Philippa”

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